The world seems to be run by extroverts. The life of the party gets the fame, the girl — and the job, apparently. They’re the ones who offer their hands and raise their voices first. They’re the ones who get noticed and leave a lasting impression. Should introverts even bother trying to compete in the big boss sphere?
What’s the score?
Take a look at these general business activities and think about how you’ve performed at them at work:
Giving a sales pitch to a tough client
Joining a networking event
Entertaining distinguished business guests
Do these seemingly innocent tasks give you the heebie-jeebies? A good number of people would rather take on a mind-numbing thousand-workbook data migration job than expose themselves to people and interaction.
But introversion is NOT just about being outgoing. This Myer-Briggs personality staple refers to your interaction with people and how it energizes you. Extroverts get excited over meeting new people, introverts generally get drained. This has no reference whatsoever to performance — so you introverts have no excuse!
The bottom line is, you have to bite the bullet on getting used to interacting with personalities. All it takes is practice. And once that interaction is done, you will get your alone time too. Let yourself recharge and be yourself — don’t force yourself to be an extrovert because your natural skills and talents will back up your work for you.
Even with our encouraging words, we are back to square one — how do we make sure extroverts aren’t the only one being recognized all the time? Are you still feeling a bit frustrated by how the business world seems to favor extroverts? So are we. Look, we don’t have to be bright-eyed, chipper folk with small talk and jokes in their back pocket in order to be successful businessmen. Introverts might not always be on the microphone to deliver a long-drawn and uplifting speech, but they are more than capable of being important leaders to a company.
Here are some of the best qualities of introverts that make them excellent entrepreneurs, chief executive officers, and persons for the people.
Introverts know how to listen
While some people can talk your ear off about one important topic or another, introverts have the tendency to take in the facts by lending an open ear. This is an important quality of leader because sometimes all the talk is complaints and worries. If everyone talks, who does the problem solving? The introverts can!
Have you ever been talked over during a meeting? Maybe you’ve even come up with a great idea but someone else who mouthed it got all the credit. Don’t fret with these instances, because you can take advantage of a lot of situations with your super sharp ears. Let everyone have their piece, their time at the spotlight. They feel like they are being heard and they feel more important that way. Once everyone has presumed their input, take the chance and synthesize the conversation you just had. You will be amazed at the insights you can get with a proper synthesis — the makings of a great leader.
Introverts are level-headed and decisive
The introspective nature of an introvert lets them become more attentive to details. In connection to their aforementioned listening skills, the drawing board is the introvert’s domain. Laying down every problem, reviewing the facts, and exercising attention to context is the stairway to a sound decision — not letting emotions get in the way.
Extroverts are known to be passionate and emotional — which can become a weakness if they have no idea how to control it.
As an introvert, you still have feelings, of course. You’re just more aware of it and can manipulate it at greater ease. This allows you to be a less biased, more balanced worker. You’re no robot, but when there is an axe to grind and it might involve certain people or values, the blacks, whites, and grays of the world won’t faze you. You’re going to make great decisions for the business because you always have an end in mind.
Introverts won’t bullshit you — and you can’t bullshit them
Some extroverts are all about sound bites and big words. Introverts tend to be straightforward. While there are sometimes needs for flowery and inspiring speeches, introverts also have the ability to rouse spirits despite cutting the small talk.
Introverts should embrace their tendency to tell it like it is. They cut through the fluff fairly easily and this definitely helps them become more effective in the office. Whether its facts, figures, or numbers, introverts have got a grasp on what’s really important. It’s hard to curve them because they won’t get carried away with details unnecessary with the business at hand.
Introverts will be helpful in keeping meetings short — whether because they’ve narrowed down the words and next steps, or they just want the gathering to end already.
Some famous introverted business leaders
Convinced that introverts have as much moxie as extroverts to make it in the business world? If not, then maybe you need to learn more about introverts who got off their ass and made a name for themselves — maximizing their God-given personalities to fit the bill! Trust me — you know these guys.
Mark Zuckerberg. You’ve seen The Social Network, and while Jesse Eisenberg’s rendition of the Facebook CEO could just be a dramatic representation, one can’t deny that Mark Zuckerberg is a pretty withdrawn person for someone who is the king of social media. But the very fact that he worked on Facebook practically on his own is a testament to his brilliance despite the personality.
Warren Buffet. Every single book on investments must have a quote from this business magnate. His name is synonymous to success. In the glamorous world of Wall Street, he was just a business leader who employed a unique style in the workplace. He believed in letting the people who work under him do their own thing, serving as more of a guiding figure than a boss. His listening skills definitely helped create incredible staff as well.
Bill Gates. There’s a big chance that you wouldn’t be able to read this article right now if it weren’t for this tech giant. He knew his strengths as an introvert, and made himself capable by — brilliantly — hiring extroverts. That’s definitely one way to solve a problem! Using a diverse set of perspectives and skills, Microsoft was set off to become a wildly successful company.
The next time you feel like you’re getting your ass handed to you because you’re an introvert — step up your game! Study and practice about how you can leverage yourself using your inherent abilities and you’ll shine as a business leader in your own special way!
Powered by Marion Fernandez & The Galiano Group Writing Team.